France Vetoes Chinese Bid To Bring Back Kashmir To UNSC

UNITED NATIONS – China is again understood to have re­quested a discussion in the UN Security Council on the situation in Jammu and Kash­mir but diplomatic sources said the issue will not be dis­cussed Chinese Council today.

It is learnt that Pakistan’s all-weather ally Beijing has called for the issue of Jammu and Kashmir to be discussed in the 15-nation Council today.

The matter was earlier expected to be dis­cussed in the Security Council Consultations Room under “other matters” during closed consultations on Tuesday afternoon (accord­ing to U.S time zone)

However, it is now understood that due to subsequent developments, this matter is not likely to come up as earlier planned. French diplomatic sources said Kashmir will not be discussed in the Security Council on Tuesday.

“Our position has been very clear: Kashmir issue has to be discussd bilaterally. We have highlighted this several times recently, includ­ing in the UN,” a source said.

In the days following the abrogation of Arti­cle 370 in Jammu and Kashmir in August, Chi­na had formally asked for closed consultations in the Security Council to discuss India’s move to revoke the special status of Kashmir after Pakistan wrote a letter on the issue to Poland, the Council President for the month of August.

The rare closed consultations on Kashmir by the Security Council on August 16 ended without any outcome or statement from the powerful UN organ, dealing a huge snub to Pakistan’s efforts, backed by China, to inter­nationalise the Kashmir issue, which an over­whelming majority in the Council stressed is a bilateral matter between New Delhi and Is­lamabad.

The informal closed consultations on August 16 lasted over an hour after which China’s Am­bassador to the UN, Zhang Jun and Pakistan’s then UN envoy Maleeha Lodhi made remarks to the media at the Security Council stakeout one by one. The two left without taking any questions from the reporters present.

India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin, speaking to re­porters at the Security Council stake-out fol­lowing the August 16 meeting, had said that India’s national position was and remains that matters related to Article 370 of the Indian Constitution “are entirely an internal matter of India. These have no external ramifications,” he asserted.

Kashmir Key Issue at Malaysia Summit Today

The situation in Kashmir could figure among the key issues on the agenda of Malaysia-led Kuala Lumpur Summit of Muslim majority nations beginning Wednesday, according to a report by Economic Times. Both Malaysia and Turkey have backed Pakistan on Kash­mir issue since the Centre, on August 5, withdrew the special status given to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution and bifurcated it into two Union territories.

Pakistan has banked heavily on Turkey and Malaysia following Saudi Arabia and the UAE’s neutral stance on India’s move on Kashmir. Most OIC members have been lukewarm over Pakistan’s efforts to internationalise Kashmir issue.

However Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has cancelled his scheduled visit to Ma­laysia and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi will be representing Pakistan in his place at the Kuala Lumpur Summit.

The plan for the summit was finalised dur­ing a trilateral meeting involving Turkey, Paki­stan and Malaysia in September in New York City on the sidelines of the UN General Assem­bly session.

Among the most notable Muslim leaders who are expected to attend the summit in­clude Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim Hamad Al Thani.

Pakistan premier has cancelled the visit ap­parently after buckling under Saudi pressure which has been left out of the summit initi­ated by the Malaysian leader Mahathir Mo­hammad. Khan rushed to Riyadh this week to pacify angry Saudi’s which was eviden after a low key officer received him at the airport in Medina. After he assured Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman that he will not attend the Malaysia summit, Crown Prince himself drove him to Riyadh airport signalling a sud­den shift in Saudi mood.

The Kuala Lumpur summit is a first signifi­cant move by three powerful non-Arab Mus­lim nations Turkey, Iran and Malaysia, which enjoy closer economic and strategic ties, to frame a new block that has potential to rep­resent Muslim causes unlike Jeddah based OIC that has remained dormant and ineffective on the International arena so far.

Office of the Malaysian Prime Minister today clarified that the Kuala Lumpur Summit (KL Summit) 2019 taking place here from Wednes­day is not a platform to discuss religion or re­ligious affairs but specifically to address the state of affairs of the Muslim ummah.

While this summit may not split the OIC in near future, it is a clear attempt by Malaysia backed by Turkey to challenge Saudi Arabia’s leadership role in the Islamic world, accord­ing to experts who follow developments in the OIC. The Kuala Lumpur Summit 2019 will be an important platform to bring the true mes­sage of Islam to the world, more so to resolve issues on radicalism and Islamophobia, minis­ter in the Malaysian Prime Minister’s Depart­ment Seri Mujahid Yusof Rawa said recently.

As the minister in-charge of Islamic affairs, Rawa said radicalism had inspired terrorist acts, purportedly in the name of religion, that led to Islamophobia, a baseless fear that cre­ated discrimination and stigma against Mus­lims worldwide.

He said the summit, with the Islamic nar­rative of Rahmatan lil Alamin (compassionate Islam) aims to tell the world that Islam is a progressive and productive religion that wants peace.

Mujahid said the summit was significant not only to Malaysia but also to the entire Muslim world as it would bring together Muslim world leaders to discuss the survival of Muslims.

The summit, scheduled from December 18-21 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, will discuss issues on Muslims based on seven thrusts, namely development and sovereignty; integrity and good governance; culture and identity; justice and freedom; peace, security and defence; trade and investment; as well as the Internet and technology governance.

Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi had said that his country fully en­dorsed the Perdana Dialogue, a brainchild of Mahathir Mohammad to bring five Islamic nations together to achieve socio-economic development.

Addressing the Kuala Lumpur Summit min­isterial meeting ahead of the summit in Doha recently, Qureshi said the hurdles of gover­nance, development, climate change, terror­ism and increasing Islamophobia warranted an integrated and comprehensive response.

Qureshi said Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Qatar, Iran and Turkey accounted for nearly 50% of the total GDP, 37% each of natural gas production and population, and 18% of the to­tal area of the Islamic world.

For the nations situated in close proximity to the strategic maritime points of the world – the Straits of Malacca, Gulf of Oman, Strait of Hormuz and the Bosphorus – there is enor­mous scope for common development and shared prosperity, said Pakistan’s foreign min­ister.

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